Ensuring fairness of competition in ESA Procurements
Concurrent with the objectives set by the ESA Council, the reorganisation of space industry in Europe brought the attainment of the objective of ensuring fairness of competition at all levels and in particular between Prime Contractors and subcontractors as one of the top priorities to be achieved by the Agency.
Also the Agency decided to implement a set of three measures, which now form an integral part of the applicable contractual and management requirements of the Agency's ITT for the selection of the Prime Contractor.
1. Best Practices
The document “Best practices - For the Selection of Subcontractors by Prime Contractors in the frame of ESA 's Major Procurements” merges in a unique set of rules, the existing rules applied up to now to various procurement activities and concerning the fairness of the selection of subcontractors in ESA's Major Procurement.
Its declared objective is to establish the minimum best practices requirements to be implemented by a Contractor (Prime Contractors together with their Major Subcontractors) in order to achieve a fair and equitable treatment of non-primes in the frame of any given Agency Programme.
Although specifically targeted at major procurements such as space and/or ground segment, these may be applied in the frame of any competition, independent of its nature or magnitude, should the Agency feel it adequate in order to achieve the fairness of competition.
It is important to note that if so required, the application of this document may be extended also vis a vis other prime Contractors in the cases when they or companies belonging to the same industrial and/or legal organisation, or affiliated companies (meaning any form of association giving a company a vested interest in the outcome of the evaluation), are a single source supplier.
3. The ESA Industrial Ombudsman
In support to the policy adopted by the ESA Council at Ministerial Level on 12 May 1999 under Chapter II Section 10) of ESA/C-M/CXLI/Res.2 (Final) “RESOLUTION ON THE AGENCY'S EVOLUTION AND PROGRAMMES” where the Director General of ESA was invited to propose "…measures to ensure a fair allocation of activities among industrial firms, in particular among Prime Contractors and equipment suppliers…" while guaranteeing the principle of fair competition and fair access to ESA's procurements at all levels, the Agency has established an Industrial OMBUDSMAN. For further details see Topic 3, ‘How to Participate in ESA Procurements”.
Last update: 26 September 2007